5 Festive Holiday Events at the Newport Mansions

Get into the Christmas Spirit

Each year, the Newport Mansions put on a festive celebration to usher in the holiday season. Christmas trees and lavish decorations festoon the mansions, once homes to prominent families of Newport, Rhode Island. You’ll find Nutcracker performances, dinner parties, and music events that lead right up to New Year’s Eve.

The Newport Mansions are worth a visit any time of the year just to imagine living such an opulent lifestyle. But we especially look forward to our annual tradition of visiting during the holidays; it gets us into the Christmas spirit in high-style!

Here are five festive events hosted by The Preservation Society of Newport County to help you celebrate the holidays at the Newport Mansions.

1. Holiday Tours of the Newport Mansions

Deck the halls, indeed! Three mansions dressed in holiday decor host winter tours that take place through New Year’s Eve. Guests can see all that glitters in the lives of the rich and famous with self-guided or audio narrated tours of The Breakers, The Elms, and Marble House. You’ll find festive decorations on a grand and miniature scale.

The Great Hall at The Breakers Mansion - Newport Rhode Island
The Great Hall of The Breakers Mansion
A detailed gingerbread miniature of Rosecliff Mansion
A detailed gingerbread miniature of Rosecliff Mansion

Expert Tip: We love to get Winter Passport tickets, which give entry to all the mansions open during the holidays at a more economical rate. Note that the last tour admission for all houses on Christmas Eve is 3 p.m.

Good News! The mansions are open through New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31) if you’re unable to fit all your holiday plans in before Christmas.

See also: Christmas at the Newport Mansions [Photo Gallery]

GET THE FULL 2018-19 HOLIDAY EVENT SCHEDULE

2. Newport Nutcracker at Rosecliff

One of my favorite festive events to celebrate the holidays at the Newport Mansions is the Newport Nutcracker ballet. This critically acclaimed performance lets the audience get closer than ever, following the ballet through the most romantic of the Newport mansions—Rosecliff. It’s an intimate performance by Island Moving Company in Newport’s largest private ballroom.

Cherubs overlooking the courtyard of Rosecliff Mansion
Cherubs overlook Rosecliff Mansion’s courtyard
Roseclliff Mansion sweetheart staircase
An elegant heart-shaped stairway takes center stage at Rosecliff Mansion

Good News! No nose-bleed seats here. You’re assured to have a great view of the show!

Expert Tip: This event is one of the earliest at the Newport Mansions, taking place during the last weekends of November. For ticket information, visit www.islandmovingco.org.

3. Santa Sundays

You can let Santa Claus know what’s on your wish lists and even take a photo with your own camera during Santa Sundays at the Newport Mansions. Santa visits each of the three mansions in December, listening to children’s wish lists.

Ladies with Santa at the Newport Mansions
My friends and I visiting with Santa

Good News! You don’t need to be a kid to believe! Tell Santa what’s on your list.

Expert Tip: Santa’s visit is from 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. on Sundays and included as part of the tour admission. Strollers and carriages are not permitted inside any of the houses.

You don't need to be a kid to believe! Tell Santa what's on your list. #santa @newportmansions Click To Tweet

GET THE FULL 2018-19 HOLIDAY EVENT SCHEDULE

4. Holiday Dinner Dance

Love The Great Gatsby? You might just feel you’re in the movie during the Holiday Dinner Dance held in the impressive Great Hall of The Breakers! The evening begins with a cocktail hour on the loggia, then a three-course seated dinner in the Great Hall followed by dancing in the Music Room. This Black Tie evening provides valet parking and is the most elegant of the festive events to celebrate the holidays at the Newport Mansions.

The Dining Room of The Breakers features twelve Corinthian columns, 18, 22, and 24 karat gilded walls, and an elaborate ceiling fresco. Two Baccarat crystal chandeliers shimmer from above. Surely more than a few elite and famous guests have dined in the opulence of this majestic room.

Good News: A portion of the ticket price is tax-deductible.

Expert Tip: The Special Events Office takes reservations from Preservation Society Members beginning early October. If tickets are still available at the end of October, reservations are open to the public. Make reservations early!

5. Holiday Evenings & Entertainment 

The Newport Mansions lovely to behold at night. Look to “Holiday Evenings” as an opportunity to immerse yourself in a Gilded Age experience. Guests may stroll through softly lit rooms and enjoy light refreshments. And, music-lovers, take note: the entertainment line-up is always fantastic.

Past performances include Victorian Carolers, Barbershop Quartets, Holiday Duets, Big Band, Classical Piano and more. You’ll find events at The Breakers, Marble House, and The Elms on Saturday evenings throughout November and December. Check out the latest schedule.

Ornate gilded piano
Holiday Evenings at the Newport Mansions feature entertainment including classical piano concerts

Good News! There are many performances to choose from during the season, so don’t limit yourself to just one.

Expert Tip: These tickets are in-demand. I recommend advance reservations because performances often sell out in advance.

GET THE FULL 2018-19 HOLIDAY EVENT SCHEDULE

While You’re at The Newport Mansions…

You may also like to combine your visit to the Newport Mansions with city-wide holiday celebrations in December as part of Christmas in Newport. Look for Newport’s Tree Lighting, Holiday Stroll, Holiday Concerts, and even a candlelit tour of Newport’s historic private homes. For more information about Newport’s city-wide holiday activities, visit Christmas in Newport.

Related: Christmas at the Newport Mansions [Photo Gallery]

A special thanks goes to The Newport Preservation Society in Newport, Rhode Island for their outstanding hospitality. This article is part of a sponsored collaboration between The Newport Preservation Society and Enjoy Travel Life. As always, all opinions expressed are my own. For more information, please see the following Disclosure

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Jackie Gately

Jackie Gately is a seasoned travel writer, photographer, and marketing consultant who is passionate about travel. She loves casual-luxury experiences, coastal getaways, cultural attractions, and local, wholesome food and wine pairings. A perfect day ends with her toes in the sand or by chasing the sunset with her camera--ideally both.

14 thoughts on “5 Festive Holiday Events at the Newport Mansions

  • December 19, 2018 at 7:53 pm
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    Oh all of these would definitely get me into the Christmas spirit! The Newport Mansions – wow! They go all out for the festive season! How absolutely magnificent. I would be in awe. I absolutely love the Nutcracker ballet too so that would be the most perfect show to see as well to get all the Christmas feels. And the black tie event would be marvellous! I can’t imagine any Christmas grinches after that kind of event!

    Reply
    • December 28, 2018 at 6:54 am
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      Certainly hard to be a Grinch with all these festivities, for sure! The Newport Mansions really do it up for the Holidays!

      Reply
  • December 18, 2018 at 11:01 pm
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    So many great festivities. The dinner and dance floor is Royal. I really love the old world charm of the Newport mansion

    Reply
  • December 17, 2018 at 9:19 pm
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    These Newport Mansions host some fabulous Christmas events! I love how they’re open through New Year’s Eve and you can get a pass to go to all three. The nighttime entertainment takes you back to a different era. What a great place to visit during the holidays.

    Reply
  • December 17, 2018 at 9:01 pm
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    I would have never thought of visiting Newport but reading this post, I would love to experience the festive season there. The architecture of the mansion is unparalleled and looks magnificent. I would love to do the breakfast with Santa for sure. Did you try the dinner at the grand hall? Overall a great experience and well captured by yourself.

    Reply
    • December 28, 2018 at 6:58 am
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      We did not have dinner at the grand hall, Amar, but it is on my bucket list! I’m hoping next year we will work that into our annual Holiday tradition!

      Reply
  • December 17, 2018 at 8:26 am
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    I remember reading your previous post about the Newport Mansions, and was so impressed! I’d love to have a Great Gatsby holiday dance in that dining hall, it’s absolutely stunning! I’m a big kid at heart too, so would love to see Santa on a Sunday!

    Reply
    • December 17, 2018 at 10:00 am
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      Thanks for coming back, Lisa. Many people don’t realize the Newport Mansions offer these festive events in addition to the holiday decorations. (Wouldn’t it be fun to be like the Great Gatsby? Love it!)

      Reply
  • December 16, 2018 at 6:59 pm
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    It looks like the Newport Mansions are very festive, I am not sure how I hadn’t heard of them before! Your picture with Santa looks 1000x better than the typical ones take at the mall. I really like the gingerbread house of the Rosecliff Mansion.

    Reply
    • December 17, 2018 at 10:25 am
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      This is by far a better setting for Santa photos…and free with admission!

      Reply
  • December 16, 2018 at 6:08 pm
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    Goodness me! What a fantastic and magical place to visit during the Christmas period! Everything looks like its so well planned out and really capturing the Christmas spirit. Love the grandiose decorations and I’d love to host a black tie dinner in that stunning dining room. And I love the Nutcracker too so I’m sure I would have enjoyed the performance.

    Reply
    • December 17, 2018 at 10:27 am
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      You hit the nail on the head with that word, Amy: Magical!

      Reply

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